Thailand cuts rice production

Thailand cuts rice production

The Commerce Ministry cuts the annual paddy production of the country from 30 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes to suit demand this year. (Pattarachai Preechapanich)
The Commerce Ministry cuts the annual paddy production of the country from 30 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes to suit demand this year. (Pattarachai Preechapanich)

Rice farmers, millers and exporters have agreed to the government's plan for the country to cut rice production in the 2016-17 crop year to 25 million tonnes of paddy from 30 million on average.

After a meeting with their representatives on Monday, commerce permanent secretary Chutima Bunyapraphasara said all parties had agreed to the plan to slash the output to respond to domestic and global demand. That amount of paddy will translate to 16.5 million tonnes of milled rice.

Thailand usually produces 30 million tonnes of paddy or 19.8 million tonnes of milled rice, split evenly between domestic consumption and exports.

Ms Chutima said paddy prices were expected to stay unchanged this year at 7,500 to 8,000 baht a tonne, while Thailand would export only 9 million tonnes, 60-70% of which would be newly harvested grain.

Charoen Laothammatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said that the production reduction would not affect rice exports.

Suthep Kongmark, president of the Thai Agriculturists Association, said farmers agreed with the plan after the government had provided much assistance in recent years.

Thai media also reported drought was a major reason for the cut. Besides, farmers were contented to have their representatives in the discussion. 


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